TNA targets 20 seats - B. Gajatheepan | Sunday Observer
Parliamentary Elections

TNA targets 20 seats - B. Gajatheepan

Our vision is to find a permanent political solution for the Tamils and therefore the people have always been voting for us for the past 72 years. This is the reason that the TNA is considered the governing party of the Tamils, TNA candidate B.Gajatheepan contesting the Killinochchi electoral district said in an interview with the Sunday Observer.

Excerpts:

Q. How do you view the TNA’S 2020 parliamentary election campaign in the North?

A: As there are only a few more days for the election the political field in the North is brimming with excitement. Due to Covid-19 we had to undergo many restrictions such as social distancing. Now we’ve got used to it and the masses also support us by adhering to health regulations. People in the North seem to be very much interested in the polls and therefore I believe this time the number of voters will increase compared to previous years. We in the TNA strongly believe that the people will give us their utmost support.

Q. How many seats in your opinion will the TNA capture in the new Parliament?

A: TNA leader R.Sampanthan has said the party will get 20 seats at this parliamentary election. We as a party are working hard to achieve this goal. Even if our target should fall short a bit we will definitely secure more seats than in previous years.

Q. Will the friction in the UNP lead to the TNA becoming the strongest Opposition in the 2020 Parliament?

A: Our target is not being an Opposition in Parliament. We want to establish the party as a strong governing party for the Tamils in the country. The friction in the UNP will give a huge victory to the SLPP, and they will form a national body in the South based on ethnicity, religion and language. We in turn expect to form an equally strong historical structure for the Tamils.

Q. The relatives of missing persons protested claiming that the TNA does not mention missing persons in their manifesto. What is your view?

A: We have made a great deal of effort to find the missing persons, however, the present Government is accountable for this issue.

Q. What changes does your party expect to bring in the North and the East after the Parliamentary election?

A: As I said earlier making changes in the North and the East is not our target. Our vision is to find a permanent political solution to the Tamils and therefore the people have always been voting for us for the past 72 years. This is the reason that the TNA is considered the governing party of the Tamils.

We are constantly trying to find a solution for the long standing problem and I know that we have the utmost support of the people in the North and the East. In addition to finding a permanent political solution we are trying to solve many other issues such as economy, education and jobs for the youth in the North and the East.

Q. It is a perception of the people that a competent team should be elected for the next Parliament?

A: A competent and corruption- free team should be selected at every election held in the country.

Q. The TNA recently said that they are willing to support the Government in case the Government needed a two-thirds majority. What is your view on this?

A: The TNA has clearly announced that they will give their support to get a two-thirds majority to the Government if it brings in a favourable program to solve the Tamil community’s long standing issues. The TNA will support any government that would do so.

Q. Why do you think there are so many divisions among the Tamil parties who represent the North and the East?

A: This is something to worry about. Jaffna has the lengthiest ballot paper in the country and this is not a thing to be proud of. Many from the governing party are contesting in the Jaffna district under several parties. They have done so to break the vote base. The TNA too faces similar divisions. However, the people are now aware of this and we need not worry any more.

Q. Former Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has left the TNA and is contesting under a separate party. Will it be a setback to the TNA in the upcoming election?

A: At various times, such mistakes happen in democratic political parties. That’s how we see the former Chief Minister’s action as well. He was the Chief Minister in 2013, but by 2015 he started to work against the TNA. We know him as an educated and talented person. He has played many important roles in the country. But these qualifications are not sufficient to become a politician. To become a good politician one should live with the people and understand them, without which it is difficult to do politics. The people now understand him and the situation so I don’t think it would be a setback to our party.

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